Alicante, Valencia
Not resolved

Rented a car from a company I have used previously but never again. Upon collection I noticed minor damage and approached a member of staff.

They stated that the damage should be noted on contract but it was not. When shown the damage they said not to worry as it was too minor to be mentioned. However, when I returned the car I was informed that it had "major damage". Was shown the damage and surprise, surprise it was the small scuff I had informed them of upon collection!!

I was told it must have been a collision that had occurred during my rental as the car had been washed and inspected before I picked it up (***). I would not trust this company as far as I could spit them and encourage all unfortunate customers to inspect/ photograph/ report/ gather witness to ANY damage to their cars before removal no matter how much time it will take. Be aware that there is damage of some sort to ALL of their vehicles most of which will not be listed on documents and I wonder how many times they charge for each little dent as I have yet to see one declared. Shocking service and an absolute insult to honest holidaymakers who were on this occasion forced to pay an extra 300 euros for somebody else's damage.

How many others were made to pay for the same damage I wonder?? AVOID and go with one of the big names for a few extra quid as these guys are third rate shysters.

Product or Service Mentioned: Europcar Car Rental.

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I enjoy how the term Shyster is being used by a number of other people in reference to Europcar.

I recently booked a rental car through Europcar in Nice, after receiving a link to their site where I made the booking through a rental car price comparison site. On the price comparison site (I forget which one I used) there was a list of vehicles and the rental cost for the period I had specified.

I chose a Mercedes C-Class, a link took me through to the Europcar page and I booked the car, receiving a confirmation email with a Mercedes C-Class on it. In the small print it said I would receive this car “or similar”.

When I arrived at the Europcar desk at Nice airport (which took nearly an hour on the circular bus from Terminal 1) they tried to give me a Citroen C5. Having had one of these before (which I had consciously ordered) I said I did not want it, if I did I would have paid much less on the car comparison site (Citroen C5s were available to be booked for much less money due to the fact they're less desirable). When I drove one before I found it in my opinion to be heavy, underpowered and with a cheap interior.

I said this was not a comparable car to a Mercedes C-Class, although an Audi A4, A BMW 3-series would have been. I also said that in nobody's perception except theirs, or perhaps Citroen’s is a Citroen C5 comparable to a Mercedes C-Class.

I ended up refusing the car and took a taxi into Nice, because the prices for car rental on the day were much in excess of what could have been booked in advance. I eventually received a partial refund, (and was made to feel I was very lucky to be receiving it), but minus a "no show fee" of £45.

I kept saying this was ridiculous as I did "show" and I had the right to refuse what I did not feel to be an acceptable service when being presented with a different option to the one I had paid for.

I talked to three Europcar customer service agents on the phone and had an e-mail dialogue of nearly 10 emails before they eventually decided to return my £45. Prior to that they kept on replying telling me I would receive no refund because a Citroen C5 is just like a Mercedes C-Class.

Here is an example: "Thank you for your further query to Europcar Customer Services, received on 21st March 2014. All vehicles are indicated on the website to be an example model from that category. There is a picture of a model of a vehicle, the name of the model, and the words “or similar”.

The Citroen C5 is of a similar size and specification to the Mercedes C Class and so is one of the vehicles available in the group booked. There will be no refund in this instance. I trust this email now clarifies our position on this matter." If a Citroen C5 is so similar to a Mercedes C-Class, why does Europcar not include the vehicle in its luxury car range promotions where they feature Audi A4s, the BMW 3-series and the Mercedes C-Class? I feel this is a *** by Europcar to lure customers with the promise of a more expensive car that won't actually be available.

Instead the customer is given a cheaper option that Europcar has (I have no doubt) paid much less for. I would be very interested to know how many Citroen C5s Europcar has in comparison to Mercedes C-Class vehicles. What was most utterly frustrating about my experience was having already wasted an hour of my time, facing the disappointment of not having a car during my time in France due to not wanting to accept what I felt was a ***, I then had to waste at least 2-3 hours arguing for a refund that was my legal right under the sale and supply of goods act. Instead all I got was Europcar bureaucratic waffle.

It was only when I said I'd take them to court under a small claims procedure that I finally got a full refund. Europcar have, in my opinion, behaved like a bunch of shysters and I will never, ever use them again.


Had almost identical experience in Faro Portugal 22 August. They are using damage excess as a way to generate revenue in my opinion.